I have an IBM-branded STEC MACH8 SSD installed in a Supermicro server with a PDSME+ motherboard. This 50 GB SLC SSD works great as a Logzilla for ZFS, but updating the firmware can be a hassle. Getting the latest firmware requires using IBM’s update utility which doesn’t run without a workaround on non-IBM servers.
Recently I had a problem with a Windows 7 desktop serving as my HTPC. It stopped automatically connecting to my PEAP-secured Wi-Fi network at boot time, and would only connect if someone with Wi-Fi permissions logged on to it. The reason turned out to be that the desktop “fell” off the domain, so the machine account couldn’t be authenticated to connect to the network. Instead of the quick fix of removing the machine from the domain and rejoining it, I decided take the time to perform a deeper analysis, and to try a more elegant approach to resolving the issue. read more…
Accessing the console of a KVM VM directly rather than via SSH (Linux) or RDP (Windows) can occasionally be useful. For example, if a Linux VM suffers a disk issue and is stuck at a single-user mode prompt, SSH won’t be possible. Modern hypervisors provide convenient access to this console using VNC or something similar. Besides VNC, KVM provides the ability to access the serial console of a VM using the virsh console <domain id> command on the host running the VM. Enabling this typically requires a configuration change in the VM itself. read more…
I recently read Low-cost RADIUS servers for Wi-Fi security, a review of four RADIUS servers with an emphasis on Wi-Fi network security use cases. The main complaint about FreeRADIUS, the only no-cost option mentioned, is the difficulty of configuration. To see this for myself, I decided to try setting up a Wi-Fi network secured with PEAP using FreeRADIUS on CentOS for authentication.
When running CentOS (or RHEL, or Scientific Linux) in a VM on VMware ESXi, you may want to install VMware Tools. Modern Linux distributions include the drivers necessary to run the OS in a VM on VMware ESXi, even those for PVSCSI controllers and VMXNET3 NICs. Although there is no longer a need to install extra drivers, VMware Tools should still be installed to enhance management of the VM through vSphere Client. yum makes installing VMware Tools extremely simple.
I recently updated a Ubiquiti Networks PicoStation M2 from firmware v5.3.5 to the latest v5.5.2 and noticed an interesting new UI feature: a persistent message-box indicating that I was still using the default username and password for the administrator account. Normally such a message might be a nuisance, but I was actually pleasantly surprised.
Many HR departments still do not know about Microsoft’s MCITP certifications. Microsoft must have realized this as they recently discontinued this program in favor of the “old” MCSA and MCSE, though the acronyms now stand for Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, respectively. These new certifications are still new and the resources available to study for them are limited. Here is a rundown of some of the resources you can use for the new MCSA certifications.
I’m currently studying for the new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Server Infrastructure (MCSE: SI) certification. A couple of my current certs are upgradeable to this so apparently I only need to pass 70-413, and 70-414, and 70-417. Luckily I received an invitation email to take certain beta exams for free (hint: create or update a MS Learning SME Profile), though this means I have to focus on studying for a couple weeks to have much chance at passing.
Currently I’m using the Server 2012 RC (build 8400). Ideally I would install Server 2012 directly on a physical server to lab Hyper-V, but for now I’m running it on a VMware ESXi 5 host. Here are my impressions thus far along with a few tips.